More thoughts on how affirmative action is not the primary solution to the ills of Black America

The US Supreme Court recently ruled that White firemen were unreasonable denied promotions in New Haven, CT when tests were set aside for promotions because they adversely excluded Blacks from promotions due to generally lower test scores. 

The ruling was a victory for those who view affirmative action as “reverse discrimination” or “reverse racism” though many of them perhaps are unaware of the reality of historical White privilege in America, or perhaps they are aware and desire to maintain their privilege.

The question must be asked among Black Americans is has the collective condition of Black America improved since affirmative action has been instituted?  If not, then why? 

Though there are more Black professionals than 50 years ago, it appears that the condition of Black America is in worse shape currently.

My father told me that he was trained that if you want to get ahead, you need to work twice as hard as White people.  This mentality bred supermen and superwomen in the Black community.  This mindset linked one’s striving for excellence in both personal and community sense and not waiting for any special breaks as the primary path towards success.  This is an Islamic teaching.

G-d does not change a condition of a people until they bring about change their inner-selves/psyches. [Al-Qur’an 13.11]

Is there a reward for excellence except excellence? [Al-Qur’an 55.60]

“Surely G-d loves that when a servant [of His] endeavors anything, he seeks to perfect it,” said the Prophet Muhamamd.

The Qur’an speaks of two forms of oppression that should be challenged, which are outward and inward.  There is no doubt that the residual effects of slavery and White supremacy still manifest themselves in the American socio-political order despite our having a Black president in this mythical age of “post-racialism.”  However, what troubles Black America most today is internal oppression, not external.  As long as Black activists and preachers focus more attention on preserving the status quo such as affirmative action or requesting reparations than addressing what Dr. Na’im Akbar has labeled our collective “insanity”, no amount of legislation in the world can help Black America.  This is where Muslims need exemplify leadership in Black America.

The mystics have a saying, “Whoever knows himself, as most certainly known his Lord.”  Meaning that if a person examines himself sincerely, he/she should come to some conclusion.  He/she should conclude the following:

1. I am not infallible

2. My best independent thinking in many instances has not led me to successful results.

3. I am beneath He who created me.

4. I must depend on His guidance for success in this world and in the next life. 

Thus, Muslims, who understand this concept, need to be at the forefront in challenging the collective social norms within Black America through raising awareness and presenting an alternative modality to what is generally viewed as normative.  

This alternative modality, despite some of its theological flaws, was presented during the lifetime of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad while he led the Nation of Islam (NOI).  The NOI exhibited a viable alternative to Black morality and ethics, which addressed many of the issues that plague a large percentage of Blacks.

Al-Islam has the answer to fixing the pervasive nature of out of wedlock child births (currently 7 out of 10 Black children) and the serve as a shield from commercialism, gross materialism and anti-social aspects within pop culture, which helps fuel this pathological.  Al-Islam has socio-political measures to bring Black America out of economic and political immaturity within the American democracy to raise her up to par and above what is deemed as productive.

It is Muslims who have to step forward and led by example to serve as an alternative mind to what intrinsically unacceptable in man’s nature (Al-Fitrah). 

Without intense internal repair within the Black psyche, affirmative action can not further raise up the educational and economic opportunities for Blacks in a meaningful way.  The incarnation rates will increase, drug abuse will increase, and depravity will increase for the masses while some will thrive.

Affirmative Action Is Going Down & So Is Black America Unless…

The US Supreme Court today ruled that White firemen were unreasonable denied promotions in New Haven, CT when tests were set aside for promotions because they adversely excluded Blacks due to their generally lower test scores. 

Today’s ruling was another strike against decades of affirmative action in America.  This, however, is not a surprise at all to me for a couple of reasons.

For one, it was to be expected as of November 5, 2008 when America elected its first Black president that affirmative action would become a questionable issue to many Americans, especially to those who had a propensity to lean towards affirmative action being “reverse discrimination” or “reverse racism”.  Now that there is a Black president (though he is not from the offspring of slaves), everything is equal now has become the mantra from the “Right.”  Even those on the “Left” who made silly proclamations on election night that “Dr. King’s dream has been realized” feed into this non-sense.

The reality is racism in America is real though less overt towards Blacks (Arabs are checking it more these days).  Racism is institutionalized in America though nothing like it was a century ago.  For instance, White abuse drugs at similar rates as Blacks in America, yet Blacks make up 50% of the 2 million people in person.  This is an obvious sentencing issue since Blacks only make up 12% of the population.  School expulsion rates are disproportionate, exploitation through usury occurs at much higher rates, and other forms of more subtle discrimination are still the order of the day in America.

On the other hand, much of what Black America suffers today is self induced in which affirmative action and even reparations can not fix.  Black out of wedlock births were significantly lower in 1959 than now.  It’s hard to fathom a group of people succeeding socially and economically when 70% of its children are born into single parent homes in which a large percentage of the mothers are under-educated.  Since Black male role models in too many homes are MIA, too many Black children look to rappers like Lil’ Wayne to athletes like football star Terrell Owens, who live flashy, dysfunctional lifestyles as role models.

Blacks are the biggest consumers with the least amount of capital in America.  Prior to desegregation (never has been true integration), Blacks had vibrant business districts and owned significantly more farms.  No one is stopping Blacks from cultivating Black business cooperation like Arabs, Jews and Koreans have in America.  The psychological chains of slavery that grip Black America and are stronger than chains made of iron are the greater issue.

I’ll share some thoughts tomorrow, G-d willing, on the role of Muslims in the Black community on how we need to step up to the plate with others in offering a solution and going back to the old school so to speak in solving these issues.

Dr. Jackson’s new book – “Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering”

I just ordered the new book by University of Michigan Islamic Studies Professor Dr. Sherman “Abd Al-Hakim” Jackson titled Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering, which is a sequel to his acclaimed book Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking Toward the Third Resurrection.

The following is a description of the book provided on Amazon.com:

In his controversial 1973 book, Is God a White Racist?, William R. Jones sharply criticized black theologians for their agnostic approach to black suffering, noting that the doctrine of an ominibenevolent God poses very significant problems for a perennially oppressed community. He proposed a ‘humanocentric theism’ which denies God’s sovereignty over human history and imputes autonomous agency to humans. By rendering humans alone responsible for moral evil, Jones’s theology freed blacks to revolt against the evil of oppression without revolting against God. Sherman Jackson now places Jones’s argument in conversation with the classical schools of Islamic theology. The problem confronting the black community is not simply proving that God exists, says Jackson. The problem, rather, is establishing that God cares. No religious expression that fails to tackle the problem of black suffering can hope to enjoy a durable tenure in the black community. For the Muslim, therefore, it is essential to find a Quranic/Islamic grounding for the protest-oriented agenda of black religion. That is the task Jackson undertakes in this pathbreaking work. Jackson’s previous book, Islam and the Blackamerican (OUP 2006) laid the groundwork for this ambitious project. Its sequel, Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering, will solidify Jackson’s reputation as the foremost theologian of the black American Islamic movement.

Interesting comments about Rev. Wright & the pain of slavery

The entire article can be found here:

http://www.wednesdayjournalonline.com/main.asp?SectionID=3&SubSectionID=3&ArticleID=11253&TM=83063.42

After Abolition, successive generations of blacks grew up in a lingering atmosphere of subservience, injustice and inequality.


It has taken generations for black folk to overcome their anger and acquire an Obama-like sense of calm self-confidence. Not everyone is there yet. It’s a pretty tall order to think that blacks should just “get over it” and stop making excuses.


Amid all the white outrage over Dr. Wright, a lot of Americans missed the important message that
America still hasn’t healed the wounds created by slavery.


“There is a paradox for this country and a contradiction of this country, and we still haven’t resolved it,” Condoleezza Rice told the Washington Times shortly after Mr. Obama’s speech in
Philadelphia. “But what I would like understood as a black American is that black Americans loved and had faith in this country even when this country didn’t love and have faith in them, and that’s our legacy.”


Rice spoke of the “terrible humiliations” endured by her father, grandmother and great-grandmother, then contrasted it to the can-do, by-the-bootstraps mentality instilled in those whose ancestors voluntarily immigrated to
America. The descendants of slaves, she said, “don’t mimic the immigrant story” because they didn’t come here as immigrants. They were forced to come here as cargo-a distinction some white folk seem quick to forget.


In no way do I condone Dr. Wright’s anti-American sentiment. I found his speech divisive and his actions narcissistic. But at the core of the controversy, when blacks lash out at
America the way Dr. Wright did, it’s not that we don’t love this country. If anything our love for this country and its ideals uproot the suppressed pain-the deep wounds have not healed-because only a handful of whites understand and acknowledge why things aren’t right.  


Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “
America has given the Negro people a bad check-a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’ But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check-a check that will give us, upon demand, the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” (MORE)